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Center of Expertise

Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety

The Center of Expertise in Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety focuses on aspects of safety and quality of care working and facilitates work with senior leaders in areas including just culture, patient-centered care, timeliness, efficiency, and equity.


The Center brings together preeminent faculty from across Mass General Brigham hospitals to acquaint trainees with opportunities and gain understanding in the principles and applications of quality and patient safety and offer mentorship, career development help, and advice.

Sonali Desai, MD, MPH

Director of Quality, Department of Medicine, BWH
Director of Ambulatory Patient Safety, BWH

Mentor areas: Quality improvement, ambulatory patient care

Willing to shadow: Yes

Sonali Desai, MD, MPH, is the Medical Director of Ambulatory Patient Safety at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), the Medical Director of Quality for the Department of Medicine and is a practicing rheumatologist. Dr. Desai conducts research on improving the quality of care and patient safety with a focus on the ambulatory setting, with over 30 peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Desai’s contributions at BWH cover clinical care, research, administrative, and teaching roles. She sees complex rheumatology patients at the BWH Arthritis Center, a busy, tertiary care referral practice with both local and regional referrals and at the BWH Fish Center for Women’s Health, a multispecialty practice with a unique, integrated care model for women with rheumatic diseases.

In the Department of Medicine’s Quality Program, Dr. Desai has lead work on chronic disease management in diabetes, hypertension, and rheumatoid arthritis; high-risk hospital admissions for heart failure and COPD; opioid management, subspecialty focused care such as inflammatory bowel disease, hepatitis, HIV, and asthma. In the Ambulatory Patient Safety realm, Dr. Desai has developed programs in safety reporting and feedback, medication reconciliation, S.A.F.E. approach for staff safety, and safety nets to reduce missed and delayed diagnosis of colon and lung cancer. She is expanding her team and focus to pharmacist-led medication error reduction, safety nets for cervical, breast and prostate cancer, and diagnostic error.

Dr. Desai is also an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and served as a Program Director (2015-2017) for an innovative global education, blended learning course titled Safety, Quality, Informatics, and Leadership. She is a native of Massachusetts and attended both college and medical school at Brown University in Rhode Island. She completed her internal medicine residency and Chief residency at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, her rheumatology fellowship at BWH, and her MPH at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Research grants in healthcare quality and patient safety

Each year, the Center of Expertise in Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety accepts proposals for research projects and provides $3,000 stipends for selected projects. The COE grants are intended to support the scholarship and continued academic growth of residents and fellows in Mass General Brigham GME programs and ideally will lead to improved safety for our patients. Scholarship proposals should guide improvements in clinical care and contribute to this essential body of knowledge. Funding can support a stand-alone project or contribute to toward a larger (multi-funded) trainee-initiated research project. A publishable product is a desired, but not required, outcome of this work.   

Learn more about the research grants, how to access the RFP, and see previously funded projects on our GME SharePoint site (login required).

For additional information or to set up a planning discussion with faculty, email the Centers of Expertise.